Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Derrick Williams has just begun his career at St. Anthony and he isn’t complaining about legendary coach Bob Hurley’s discipline just yet.
“It’s worth it,” he said. “I like the team and everybody on the coaching staff.”
At 6-foot-7, 255 pounds, Williams is built like a defensive end. In fact, he played that position and right guard his freshman year at Port Richmond High School on Staten Island.
Now a junior at St. Anthony, Williams showed his tremendous strength and power in the paint by scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to earn MVP honors for the Jersey juniors in the Eddie Griffin Challenge Sunday at Rutgers. He also has a nice shooting touch from mid-range.
He says he wants to continue to develop his handle and his shot going forward.
Williams transferred to St. Anthony last spring from Burlington (NJ) Life Center Academy and will not have to sit out 30 days.
He holds offers from Seton Hall, Fordham, La Salle and Virginia, and lists Fordham and Virginia as his favorites. He took an unofficial visit to Fordham Saturday along with Fordham commits Lance Brown of Paterson Catholic and Chris Gaston of New Hampton (N.H.). Brown and Gaston have committed and were on official visits.
“At Fordham, everything is cool,” Williams said. “It’s nice and quiet and the coaching staff is nice.”
Williams knows that former St. Anthony stars Jio Fontan and Alberto Estwick are already at Fordham, both having been recruited by assistant coach Jared Grasso. Gaston also played for Hurley at St. Anthony, making for a nice little pipeline from the Jersey City school to the Bronx campus.
“Me and Jio and Lance, we all talk and communicate with each other,” Williams said.
In the meantime, Williams is one of several newcomers to a team that last year went 32-0, won the New Jersey Tournament of Champions and captured a mythical national championship.
Former New York City stars Ashton Pankey and Devon Collier also joined the frontcourt. The backcourt will be led by All-State returnee Dominic Cheek, Devon McLeod and Willie Vaughn.
And could we see Williams playing for the new St. Anthony football team at any time?
“Coach Hurley said he don’t want me touching that field,” he said.
(Photo courtesy njhoops.com)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.